November 21, 2002

Test Spin

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K records may be more inbred than the Royal Family, but they sure do have a knack for putting out consistently strong albums. With their recent release of Dennis Driscoll’s Voices in the Fog, K maintains its tradition of record-mate collaboration. If you’re not familiar with Driscoll, it’s probably because he seems to have appeared from the middle of a foggy Washington cranberry bog. His first success came from a collaboration with the Microphone’s Phil Elvrum.

With Voices in the Fog, Driscoll and Elvrum are back together along with the likes of Calvin Johnson (Beat Happening, and nearly every other K Records release), and the sweet-voiced Khaela Maricich from The Blow.

These 17 songs are variously sweet and sad ruminations on love — mini lullabies for lonely hearts. Stand outs include “Fall in Love” in which Driscoll begs, “Tell me how to fall in love/ Fall in love/ that’s what people say that I can’t do” and “Sunday is Over” which features a ghostly theremin that rings loud and long behind Driscoll’s innocent, almost child-like tenor. Some tunes echo Matt Ward while “Roller Coaster” sounds reminiscent of Jonathan Richman. In a world that’s bursting at the seams with hyphenated genres (Rap-Metal, Post-Rock, etc), Driscoll’s innocent simplicity is a welcome change.

Archived article by Nate Brown